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Goolets quick view on tourism: Chinese tourists

The world economic power balance has changed significantly over the last decade. This has affected tourism as well…

 

The biggest rise in tourism over the last decade has been reported by the Chinese: “China’s expenditure on travel abroad reached US$ 102 billion in 2012, making it the first tourism source market in the world in terms of spending. Other emerging markets, as well as most traditional tourism source markets, also showed positive results in 2012.”

(source: World Tourism Organization UNWTO)

Nowadays Chinese tourists have taken the throne as the biggest spenders, defeating the former champions, the Americans.

It seems that along with that position, the champion also gets another, less distinguished title. That of the most ill-behaved customer.

In the last few decades, Americans abroad have begotten the stereotype of “loud, ignorant tourists”. But now it seems that too, like so many other things, has been outsourced to China:

“The Economics of the Chinese Tourist vs. The Ugly American

For the longest time, Americans have held the mantle and stereotype of being the most obnoxious tourists on the face of the Earth. Some of us were too loud, others were too tacky, many were too fat, others were too demanding, and an unfortunate few were all of the above — basically people around the world found the American tourists they met offensive. But lately, that caricature has been fading. “The ugly American — the stereotypically brutish, ethnocentric, bumbling traveler abroad — is dead. He”s gone the way of global U.S. hegemony, the strong dollar, and mid-20th-century American naivete,” wrote Gregory Rodriguez for the Los Angeles Times in 2011. Rodriguez points to a number of different factors as to why the “ugly American” tourist has faded: Americans are more diverse, a kind of timidity that crept in after 9/11. But it”s his point about the weak dollar which resonates today. “Americans were ruder when the dollar was strong,” a longtime waiter at Madrid”s Cerveceria Alemana bar told Rodriguez. And if you look at the weakening dollar and the sagging American economy over the past five years, and apply the waiter and Rodriguez”s logic, it wouldn’t”t be wrong to conclude that Americans are traveling less and Americans that are traveling abroad are being more mellow. 

China is the flip side to that. The past few years have been great for China”s economy, meaning more money to spend on travel. “In 2012, Chinese overtook Americans and Germans as the world”s top international tourism spenders, with 83 million people spending a record $102 billion on international tourism,” CNN reported last month. More Chinese tourists traveling make Chinese tourists more visible, and that gives people around the world the templates to start a stereotype. And just like the Americans who were rude and demanding when the dollar was strong, so too are the Chinese. “Rich Chinese tourists are pushing the boundaries and unfortunately some of these places are bending to their will … Particularly the newly rich, who think, “If I”m paying money then I”m God,” as Mei Zhang, the owner of a Chinese travel told CNN.” (source: The Atlantic Wire)

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